Yes, I'm behind. I know, trust me I know. It's been a little real life hectic so far this August. Nothing bad, but busy, and distracting.
They don't. Not really anyway.
As I have mentioned far too many times to count, I primarily GM. Even in the last five to ten years, when my time as a player as more than tripled what it was in the previous thirty years, I still find myself GMing more than playing as a PC.
I just don't play RPGs as a player that often. I never have. As such, I've maybe had a dozen, or two dozen player characters (maybe).
While many of my friends remember my PCs, they don't tell many tales about them. If the character was a part of a larger story then maybe, but generally no.
Friends and fellow gamers remember games I've run even decades later, and that's enough for me.